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(In)Conduit Hydro-Electric Generation

Event Description and Agenda:

Adding renewable energy like solar and wind to the electric generation mix is garnering much press, but the oldest and most reliable form of renewable energy, hydro power, often gets a short shrift. While the potential for low head hydro generation are estimated in the high double-digit gigawatt range, recent changes in the regulatory environment and technology point to conduit hydro as the most cost effective new generation source. Utilizing existing infrastructure like water and wastewater treatment plants, irrigation channels, pipelines, aqueducts and tunnels, conduit hydro power allows facility operators to cut operating costs by generating their own electricity. In many cases, they may even profit by entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) or net energy metering (NEM) arrangement with their connecting utility. Conduit hydro provides "clean and green" power to its owners and the grid without the intermittency issues of other renewable energy sources.

This webinar is designed to familiarize attendees with the key elements of conduit hydro electricity generation, including a detailed understanding of the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013, Bureau of Reclamation Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act, key FERC licensing and waivers from those laws, along with thorough instruction on design and technology for generation, estimation of generation potential, and utility interconnection requirements. Instructors will also guide participants through the legislative, permitting and waiver process of licensing, facility suitability criteria, site preparation and engineering, components comparison and selection, cost/benefit analysis and financing instruments, generated electricity usage, and interconnection with the distribution utility.

  • What conduit hydro power is and what it does, its advantages over other forms of hydro and how it is often "free power for the taking"
  • Discuss "Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013" and the Bureau of Reclamation's "Small Conduit Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act" and the important waivers and exemptions they provide to conduit hydro
  • The process for determining a facility's hydro potential and electrical generation capabilities
  • The economics of using power generated internally or selling to an off taker, financing to the project and payback timeframes
  • Conduit case studies and evaluate how projects met or failed to meet the project owner's expectations
  • Facility and grid connection issues

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